Johanna Kraemer setting up her pop up plant shop, The Wild Fern Co., on Cole Street pre-pandemic. Courtesy photo

Johanna Kraemer setting up her pop up plant shop, The Wild Fern Co., on Cole Street pre-pandemic. Courtesy photo

Alberta announces new small business benefit

Starting in mid-April, payments of up to $10,000 will go to eligible small and medium businesses

By Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette

The newly announced Enhanced COVID-19 Business Benefit will augment the Small and Medium Enterprise Grant to provide up to an additional $10,000 to the small businesses that have been impacted the hardest by the pandemic. Between this new benefit and the Small and Medium Enterprise Grant, eligible small businesses in Alberta will be able to access up to $30,000 in supports from the Provincial government.

Alberta Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation Doug Schweitzer had this to say about the new benefit “The challenges associated with COVID-19 are ongoing, and this additional payment will provide even more immediate relief to Alberta’s small businesses. We promised our job creators that we would be there to support them throughout this pandemic, and we will continue to evaluate the needs of Albertans while we engage with the federal government to address gaps in their long-term programs. “

Beginning in mid-April, small and medium businesses that can show a reduction in revenue of 60% or more due to COVID-19 and the related ongoing public health measures will be able to apply for the Enhanced COVID-19 Business Benefit. Eligible businesses will receive 15% of their monthly revenue, to a maximum of $10,000. To qualify for this program, organizations must:

· Be a Business, cooperative, or non-profit organization with less than 500 employees

· Show a revenue reduction of 60% or more

· Declare the levels of provincial and federal support that have already been received to make sure that these supports have covered no more than 80% of revenue

Recipients of this benefit can use this funding towards the costs involved in relaunching their businesses. These expenditures may include the costs of putting measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as PPE, physical barriers, and cleaning supplies, as well as operating expenses such as rent, employee wages, and replacing inventory. The grant can also be used to grow the business’s online presence or increase its e-commerce opportunities to continue to meet its customers’ needs.

Please visit www.alberta.ca/enhanced-covid-19-business-benefit.aspx for more information about the Enhanced COVID-19 Business Benefit.

The Small and Medium Enterprise Grant was launched in June of 2020 and then expanded later in the year to offer up $20,00 to already existing small and medium businesses that had been adversely affected by the pandemic and the ensuing public health restrictions. This program was further expanded in 2021 to include up to $15,000 in supports for new businesses that had started between Mar. 1 and Oct. 31, 2020. Businesses can still apply for the Small and Medium Enterprise Grant until Mar. 31, 2021.

Go to https://www.alberta.ca/sme-relaunch-grant.aspxfor further information on the Small and Medium Enterprise Grant.

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